This short passage from John’s Gospel reveals the interaction between the command to love and the gift of joy. While love often challenges us to stretch our hearts as we care for others, the joy we receive flows straight from the heart of heaven.
As Simeon sees the Christ Child he recognizes the Messiah and gives praise to God. As the Kingdom of Heaven continues to unfold here on earth, we have daily opportunities to seek out the face of Jesus in our lives and respond with joy and gratitude.
The Scriptures today reveal Zephaniah, the Psalmist, St. Paul and John the Baptist as God’s messengers who communicate to the people. They remind us that we are all messengers for Jesus Christ, called to proclaim and receive a message of joy.
Jesus prays to the Father that the disciples might share in his joy. As a Fruit of the Spirit, joy is a quality that arises from our love with God and one another. May we look for joy in our lives today and share the joy of Jesus Christ with those we meet.
Jesus promises a joy that is permanent and complete; may we follow the Lord today in the midst of our challenges with the conviction that God will give us what we need to find our way through this life to the Kingdom of Heaven.
We recognize that being disciples of Jesus Christ does not take away experiences of suffering and loss; rather, we understand that God will give us what we need to make our way through even the darkest moments of life – turning our grief into joy.
The resurrection of Jesus brings hope and life as we turn away from our sins and embrace the living Lord. No matter what’s happened in the past, may we draw strength from God’s love and walk in the light of Christ’s amazing grace. The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed.